So, I work in a three man office, just me, the boss, and the lead developer. I'm the grunt of the office, usually my duties involve "Copy this!", "Fax that!", and "Pick up lunch!". I occasionally get involved in larger projects when the lead dev's workload spills over (I WAS hired under the pretense I would be developing regularly, now it's a rare treat to get to see code).
On the occasions where I get into something more serious, I do my best to play along and work with everyone, but I am generally kept out of the loop of business meetings and don't always get all the info on new policies or direction changes. This creates times when the boss and lead dev have been aware of the change for a few days before I catch wind of it. The boss assumes (even though neither of them have told me) that I should know too. When I continue working happily along with plan XYZ, he'll usually fire off some line about "No I said ABC", when the last direction I got in the matter was "XYZ".
I've tried double checking what I'm doing with him, and if I'm behind in what we should be doing, it just incurs the above conversation sooner than it would have. While this lets me transition to ABC sooner, I still get the impression it ticks my boss off that I have wasted any time on XYZ. I don't feel I can talk to him about it, because he genuinely seems to remember telling about the new directions explicitly (at least, if he doesn't genuinely remember it, he assumes he did the correct thing, which is only natural I guess).
How can I proactively deal with exclusion on company news while still doing what I can to be kept in the loop? I don't want to get to nosy about what happens in these meetings, after all I'm not excluded from ALL meetings, and I assume there's (good or otherwise) reason I'm excluded from certain meetings. I feel like part of the reason I'm excluded is because of the boss' impression about me always being behind, so it's a pretty nasty cycle and I feel it will eventually get me canned. I have a sneaking suspicion I'm only still around because the lead dev appreciates the help. My predecessors filled much more of a secretarial role than I do, however given that 'A bachelors or higher in CS' with years of coding experience was a job requirement, I suspect the lead dev fought for a change in my positions function that my boss isn't quite agreeing with.